Gordon D'Arcy swaps his boots for a suit and high finance
In some ways, Gordon D'Arcy is like any new finance employee: he forgets to book a room for a meeting and tugs occasionally at the collar and tie he is still not used to wearing.
There's one big difference: few other new hires have won more than 80 rugby caps for Ireland and three Heineken Cups. Now, just months after retiring as Ireland's longest-serving international player, the 35-year-old has joined Investec as an investment manager in Dublin.
His father, a Bank of Ireland branch manager, "reminded me on a regular basis: 'rugby won't be there forever, you'll never make enough money to never work again'," said D'Arcy at Investec's Dublin office.
A top rugby player probably makes €275,000 a year while active, according to industry estimates.
D'Arcy isn't the first Irish rugby play to pursue a career in finance and business. Hugo MacNeill, who played for Ireland in the 1980s, went on to work for Goldman Sachs. Most famously, Tony O'Reilly, who played for the British and Irish Lions, became chief executive officer of HJ Heinz in the 1970s, before building his own empire that eventually crumbled.
Mr D'Arcy started building his exit plan for after the sport while he was still playing. Aside from investing in bars and a pilates studio, he studied economics at UCD. He was doing some business with Investec and half-joked about having a chat with the company about his post-rugby career. That led to him going on to do an internship there.
That process was necessary, said D'Arcy. "Being a sports person who has represented your country might get your resume close to the top of the pile, but if you can't do the job, that's it." (Bloomberg)